I cannot speak for every Asian family, but I can talk about my husband’s crazy family.
As a married girl I’m judged not only by my ability to take care of the house, in-laws and husband, but mostly I’m seen as someone whose destiny is to become a mother. In Sing’s family there is something I would call a ‘birthing standard‘ because I really don’t know how else I should describe it. For female you should at least have a long term fiance by the age of 25 (lucky for guys, there is no limit for them, they are the preservative to keep females young by marrying them). Checked. After a year of being married I should AT LEAST be pregnant. Of course with a boy, so the nutritious water won’t go to someone else’s farm.
This July it will be our second wedding anniversary and I’m not even close to call myself ‘mommy-to-be’. It’s not that I don’t like children and I don’t want to have them, it’s just at this point of my life I can play with them as an auntie, I can take care of them, but once they burst out crying – I’m leaving. That works like a birth control, because whenever our friend’s child is crying later that evening I’m like ‘Go away you sperm-bomb, today we cuddle tomorrow I’m pregnant‘. I just want to live my youth, accomplish things I wished to try, make our life more stable, besides Sing and I want to catch up with the time we’ve been in long distance relationship and we couldn’t just simply go on a date. If I get pregnant then OK, it won’t be a disaster, but neither of us thinks it would be a good idea to have a baby right now.
But it wouldn’t be so easy, would it? In our love triangle (me-Sing-Momzilla) there is one person who really, really, REALLY wants a new person in the family. Since you know it’s not me, neither Sing you can expect who is craving for a grandchild. Why am I even writing about it? Because few days ago she reached the age of 58 and went on full ‘future-grandma’ mode. She wants a grandchild so badly it leads to many weird, creepy or funny situations I want to introduce to you.
- Auction. One baby, who gives more? Momzilla gives two babies. Will there be more? I see 3 babies in the back. Some people go to art auctions and use money. Momzilla has an auction, but instead of money she uses babies. Can you imagine I bargain with my mother-in-law about amount of children? You can only imagine how we show on our fingers the possible result, but it wasn’t that funny when she wished I gave a birth to 3 children… at once. So I don’t need to suffer that much. Well, if they have my hubby’s head size if one of them can make the way out the rest will just slide out. Add my big nose and huge feet and I will need a surgery.
- YouTube videos. Remember when I was worried I will have nothing to talk about with her? I thought the problem will be solved when I introduced her to YouTube, write her down phrases to look for like ‘babies and cats’ or ‘funny babies’, but it actually created a monster. Grandmomster, I would say. She can watch those videos for almost 11 hours. Recently she found out a channel of Filipino-American couple and their daily life with a baby. From time to time she calls me to the room and shows the gesture of how she would pull the baby’s cheeks.
- Creeper in the shopping mall. Or pretty much everywhere else. Momzilla has some special baby preferences, according to her Asian babies are not cute. Of course besides Sing, he is the most adorable child ever made. She likes the blondest babies. Is that even a word, the blondest? Anyway more blond the child is, more chances she will just suddenly stand and stare at it. I had to take her from IKEA’s children section because I was afraid someone will call security.
- Expiration. In our family perfect age to give a birth is considered as 25, I’m ‘already’ 23, so sometimes I hear ‘expire’. Of course since I’m the person who will be pregnant she cannot say it about me – she says things like Sing is getting old (this year he will be 28), but I think in her heart she thinks like that about herself. Even if I give a birth at ‘the perfect age’ she will be 60. Less time with a grandchild, less strength to play and take care of. So everyday besides constant hearing a baby’s laugh out of her tab I see how she shows pregnant belly with her hand and says ‘Lina, BB’. Not like it gives me pressure or anything…
- Pre-post-pregnancy surveying. As doing all of the above wasn’t too much recently during every meal she asks Sing to ask me how women in Poland take care of themselves before and after pregnancy, do we have a month to recover like in Asia, do we eat any special food, was my mom OK after giving a birth to me, who takes care of the child, doesn’t it damage the mother if she does things by herself, do you take a bath in Poland after you give a birth… and there’s like a billion more of that kind of questions. If you want you can share your experience with pre/post pregnancy period in the comment section! 🙂
- Happy daughter-in-law is pregnant daughter-in-law. In my previous post I wrote that I’m getting along with Momzilla. It was even suspicious to me why she lets me win in the cards. Not only win, she will even make Sing lose just to see satisfied look on my face. She complains less, she doesn’t mind me eating Quadratini. I can even stay in my PJs until the very late afternoon and nothing will be reported as a complaint. And then I found out why – she knows that the only person who can give her a grandchild is me. I mean technically Sing has a sister, but let’s face it – she’s an elder Shanghainese lady, of course son is her #1, he will continue the family’s line and nutritious water will stay in our farm. I really love that phrase. So in order to hear ‘Na is pregnant’ she sacrifices herself. I’m not even mad, I’m impressed.
- You give me a grandchild, I give you anything you need. Besides having an auction she recently tries to bribe me into having a baby. After countless arguments I why having a child in this moment wouldn’t be a great idea, I tried to be the most reasonable and asked my husband to translate ‘Mom, our life is not stable, we’re on a visa, we rent out a tiny flat in the house. It is not a good environment for a baby to grow up’. Cannot argue with such a good argument, can you? Oh yes you can, if you are a Momzilla. Since that day video-free time she spends on looking for houses in San Francisco, in Chinatown she collects those real estate magazines and browse the Internet. I guess my ‘I want to give a birth when we go back to Hong Kong’ somehow didn’t reach her ears…
- BB, MiMi. I don’t know if it’s her grandma-instinct or she just doesn’t know how to handle or carry a cat, but recently she made friends with a Traitor, a.k.a. Biscuit. Traitor noticed that Momzilla doesn’t recognize when the kitty is hungry so any kind of meow is an occasion to get fed. In return Momzilla pets her and sometimes try to walk around with her in the arms, but she ends up holding Biscuit like it was a baby, moves her shoulders like you put a newborn to sleep. It’s cute, hilarious and little bit creepy at the same time. Especially if you could see Biscuit’s face.
My conclusion? Who has uterus has the power, even over Momzilla. Now I only need to figure it out how should I have blond, green-eyed triplets, not like my husband’s dark hair and dark eyes made it already difficult. But jokes-aside. I think despite all of the pressure she gives me, she will be a great grandma. I’ve seen her with our landlord’s baby and I’ve seen by her actions she has a lot of love she would like to give to someone. But, at least for now, she has to show it to us and Biscuit.
Has any member of your family ever give you a pressure to have a child? How did you or how would you react in that kind of situation? Share your experience and opinions. Hopefully it will help not only me but also other people to handle it 🙂